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Gloucestershire Business News

New investors needed to keep Bloodhound on track

The supersonic Bloodhound vehicle which aims to break the land speed record is urgently looking for new investors so it can complete its task.

Bristol-based Bloodhound Programme Ltd has gone into administration and needs an injection of £25 million for the project to continue.

Administrators FRP Advisory said they were already in talks with a number of potential investors. The aim is for Bloodhound - a combination of fast jet, F1 car and spaceship to break the land speed record next year by travelling at 1,000 mph.

Bloodhound has helped to inspire a new generation of engineers through its education programme, back by such companies as Wotton-under-Edge based advanced engineering group Renishaw, a global company with core skills in measurement, motion control, spectroscopy and precision machining.

Renishaw has contributed its additive manufacturing expertise to produce prototype parts for Bloodhound,  including a titanium nose tip and steering wheel.

Renishaw's head of communications, Chris Pockett said the educational side of the project run by a separate charity would not be impacted by the financial issues facing Bloodhound, which he hoped would soon be resolved..

"Technically the Bloodhound team is in a good place and they have proved that it is a very viable project," said Mr Pockett. "It is absolutely at the cutting edge of engineering and we would like to see it go ahead.

"We hope that someone will come forward to support it."

Renishaw has been a champion of the STEM campaign, actively working to promote careers involving Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, especially amongst young women looking for a career path.

Bloodhound has been an important part of that campaign, reaching over 120,000 UK students since its launch.

Andrew Sheridan, joint administrator for Bloodhound Programme Ltd. said: "Bloodhound is a truly ground-breaking project which has already built a global audience and helped to inspire a new generation of STEM talent in the UK and across the world.

"Entering into administration provides some breathing space to identify an investor who will bring the guaranteed funding, impetus and expertise required to drive the project forward.

"Whilst not an insignificant amount, the £25m Bloodhound requires to break the land speed record is a fraction of the cost of, for example, finishing last in a F1 season or running an Americas Cup team. This is an opportunity for the right investor to leave a lasting legacy. We are already in discussion with a number of potential investors and would encourage any other interested party to contact us without delay."

Mark Chapman, chief engineer, Project Bloodhound, commented: "Bloodhound has had enormous success in creating the world's most advanced land vehicle. As we now move out of the R&D phase and into the operational phase of the project, we recognise that we need a different approach to funding. This project is built around the most successful team in the history of Land Speed Racing, and with the right support we have no doubt that the project will achieve its aims and could be racing for the record in as little as ten months."

Interested parties should contact FRP Advisory LLP Bristol office on 0117 203 3700

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